Intel's Atom-based processors have gotten much better at delivering a lot of bang for the buck, but there's still little doubt that you're using a low-cost system. PCs like HP's Stream series still tend to be thick, carry a meager amount of RAM and rule out intensive tasks like 4K video. You might not have to make quite so many sacrifices going forward, though: Intel has offered a peek at Apollo Lake, a next-generation system-on-a-chip that promises to inject some life into the budget category. It's not only more compact, but efficient enough that PC makers can afford to slim things down without as many compromises -- they can use smaller batteries without hurting battery life, for instance. The more inclusive design (should also save several dollars (around $5-7) in parts that can be rolled into more RAM, better displays and similar upgrades.